You’ve heard the notion we can be our own best friends or our worst enemies. Whether you’re one or the other depends a great deal on your internal thought patterns and the kinds of statements you think or say about yourself … to yourself.
When introduced with a new idea, are you open to suggestions or does a new anything simply sound like too much trouble? And because it seems like the older we get (no matter what our age) the more we become set in our ways, and we often rob ourselves of valuable new experiences.
Unfortunately, we can easily become narrow minded and resistant, and we can easily talk ourselves out of new ideas. This initial discussion happens in our mind, so consider the following stifling rationalizations:
1. I already know all about that.
You may have a doctorate degree, but this does not mean you’ve learned all there is to know. Sometimes those of us who use this rationale believe we are right and everyone else is wrong. But be unbiased and consider someone may introduce a new idea able to greatly improve your life or a given situation. You simply need an open mind!
2. I’m not smart enough.
If you are considering returning to school or changing professions, this message can be one of the most self-sabotaging to your future. Yes, you may be embarking on new soil, but you’ll need to accept there is a learning curve with any exciting new challenge. “Smarts” is half the battle — you’ll win the war in your mind when you are willing to move forward into uncharted territory. It’s not worth giving up even before giving it a shot!
3. I’ve tried that and it doesn’t work.
There’s nothing like a good ole’ “know-it-all” to stifle an inventive idea. Maybe you’ve tried a given method and it didn’t work. This doesn’t mean you can’t reconsider and give the same idea a new twist. Did you know that J K Rowlings’ book, “Harry Potter,” was rejected by numerous publishers before it was finally considered and published? Imagine if the author had given up too soon! Perhaps the second or third time you try an idea you will make it happen.
4. This is not for me.
Think it’s too late to learn a new language, sport or hobby? Maybe you don’t want to invest the time or trouble, but you could be missing out on a whole new world of fun and reward. If you give up learning because something may not sound appealing at first, you may never master anything. Be bold, be daring, and go ahead … try a little sushi.
6. I’m not as talented as she is.
Nothing kills creativity quicker than comparison. True, we are not all equally gifted or skilled. BUT… we all have areas of talent and expertise and we must not allow ourselves to entertain this self-defeating thought. She may make a better souffle, but you can write more colorful poetry than she ever could. Find your unique strengths and focus on how you can utilize those qualities to make your world and others’ better.
7. I’ll get to this another day.
Procrastination kills innovation. We seem to live in a culture of tired people, but if you have a passion, pursue it. Now. Putting things off will simply incur more stress, because you’ll view your idea as “one more thing you need to do.” But consider devising a plan and breaking up your massive idea into bite-size pieces you can execute a little at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, they say … but thank goodness someone started construction at some point!
The moral of this story is you are uniquely gifted and you are still in a growth and development process, no matter your age. We women have such a tendency to shoot ourselves down and we must develop healthier habits of self-talk and internal encouragement. To stay inspired and enthused about life in general, learn to venture into new ground and don’t be afraid to try new ideas and experiences. No matter the challenge, you’re smart, you’re capable, and you’re just “as good as she is.” (If not better!) Just keep telling yourself this!